Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Critic Score
Based on 31 reviews
2015 Ratings: #18 / 742
Year End Rank: #5
User Score
Based on 686 ratings
2015 Ratings: #16
Your Review


On her full-length proper, Barnett arrives as a longstanding voice, someone who’s going to long outlive the characters she writes about.
The Guardian
Gentle, subtle, poignant, Barnett is almost crooning as she talks disappointment and expectation, and she has a photographer’s eye for detail when it comes to the otherwise mundane.
Pretty Much Amazing

Sometimes I Sit and Think lends further support to the argument that women are the last, best hope of a once vital genre.

A.V. Club

Building on the best tendencies of her earlier songs, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit finds Barnett deftly connecting the foreground to the background, the surface to the undercurrent.

The Line of Best Fit

Sometimes is the work of probably the best lyricist writing today, and roundly deserves to be an album for the ages.

Slant Magazine

For an album that deals in low stakes, Sometimes I Sit and Think finds Barnett hitting some incredible highs.


A convincing argument that rock & roll doesn't need reinvention in order to revive itself, Courtney Barnett's full-length debut Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. falls into a long, storied rock tradition but never feels beholden to it.


On Sometimes I Sit, Barnett is able to find a balance between giving open rein to free associating any and all mundanely personal details that come to mind and striking a bright pop tone that compacts and condenses the more meandering trips collected on 2013’s The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas.

It doesn't excite with sonic innovation and lyrical reinvention, it excites by just sounding really, really, really good, and coming from a voice that, in more ways than one, we've never quite heard before. And that in itself should make it one of the most thrilling albums you hear this year.

By channeling her anxiety into wonderful, shaggy, relatable and supremely catchy songs, she’s made Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit one of the most compulsively listenable albums to come out so far this year.

Rolling Stone
The tunes are tight and sticky; the guitars hit with real sizzle and bite, accented by flourishes like the garage-rock organ in "Debbie Downer" or the cowbell swing of "Aqua Profunda!"
Even at their most clever, her songs glide from line to line and thought to thought, a stray observation about cracks in the walls leading to something about the wrinkles in Barnett's own palm, propelled by rock'n'roll that seems to find itself plenty serviceable but nothing to stop and fuss over.
Northern Transmissions

If any teachers out there are looking for a contemporary indie rock album that’s worth studying in an English literature classroom, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is it.

The 405

At least when it comes to her music, she's anything but disappointing.

The Skinny
Still, all this detailed wordsmithery would mean little if Barnett didn’t have the tunes to back it up, and this debut album is full to the brim with irresistible shuffles and subtle left turns.
She might not want a pedestal, but there aren’t many songwriters who’d make better use of it.
Barnett’s songs hold such sway because she’s voicing her entire range of emotions: alternately scared shitless, achingly sad, and (rightly) proud of herself. Being so in touch with her scattershot feelings, her pen should never run dry.
Time Out London
Charming and ironic, bored and anxious, disillusioned but hopeful: Barnett captures those millennial complications and contradictions like nobody else.
No Ripcord

Although Sometimes I Sit and Think is musically straightforward, Barnett doesn’t need anything more to tell great stories.


Half of the time Barnett, sounds like she isn't even trying, shrugging out moments of brilliance with ease and nonchalance. Whether she sits and thinks or sits and does nothing, it would appear the results are still golden.

Loud and Quiet

She’s having a lot of fun doing what she’s doing, and that attitude is half of the reason why this is a debut album with such massive appeal.

The Guardian

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is fun, intelligent and sets up Barnett as a voice who can tread between both high and low culture and treat them the same.

Drowned in Sound

There are manifold reasons why Barnett’s music is so compelling, then, but it all boils down to the way that she mines the little details for something powerful and resonant, creating songs that are at once universal and deeply personal.

NOW Magazine

A stellar, necessary batch of smart rock songs.

Consequence of Sound
Barnett clearly doesn’t always take herself or her surroundings seriously, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have serious things to say about both.

It all means that Sometimes I Sit… is a likeable, enjoyable album rather than a great one. Barnett has written half a masterpiece: let’s hope that, next time round, she can complete the job.

Tiny Mix Tapes
Any song on this album could function as a funny little short story well enough, but Barnett’s band, her guitar playing, her impeccable sense for melody and consistency give her stories life beyond their quirks, beyond her strength as a chronicler of the exhausting contemporary situation, expanding them into emotional worlds unto themselves.
Crack Magazine

Somehow though, the record doesn’t quite live up to her previous EPs, generally lacking the bile, bite and wit that cemented her as a swift cult heroine in her native Australia and elsewhere and losing a lot in its excess of whimsy. Still, for an album based around swimming and vegetables, it’s actually pretty good.

God Is in the TV

Beneath Barnett’s nasal Australian tones, raw guitar riffs and more delicate, reflective sounds combine to great effect. With a self-deprecating, underwhelming tone to her lyrics, the thrashing guitars really do add a great deal to this record, not just making it more enjoyable but also profiling the talent of a focused musician.

Under The Radar
On the one hand, its contents are spiky, prissy, and riff-smothered; the sound of an apathetic 20-something detached from modern excess. On the other, it's a frustrating trip of unambitious pastiche.
The Needle Drop

Melbourne singer-songwriter Cortney Barnett's debut LP works on simple garage rock grooves and a relatable charm.

May 28, 2015
Courtney Barnett is probably the most important singer-songwriter in recent memory. She hardly tries to make her point known, but her relevant and satirical lyrics make it hard not to notice her brilliance.
Apr 5, 2015
I love Courtney's lyrics and poetry - she reminds me of Parquet Courts in the best way possible

Depreston is genius
Jan 10, 2017
what was pitchfork thinking on this one
This album is the musical equivalent of sitting down: means absolutely nothing to the world and while it feels good it's just sitting down. Courtney sits on some garage sounds or whatever and fails to deliver something that makes me want to sit down through the entire thing without yawning.
I wrote this sitting down as well.

Personal Favourites: Elevator Operator, Depreston
Jul 3, 2015
Courtney Barnett is someone who you can’t help but love because she dosen’t fit in with other “pop stars.” Take the first single off this album “Pedestrian At Best” and you’ll see what I mean. The chorus gives you reasons not to be a fan like, “put me on a pedestal I promise to exploit you” or “give me all your money and Ill make some origami.” This is everything but your average indie rock album, this is quite the opposite, ... read more
Feb 7, 2017
This really is just a watered down generic version of Angel Olsen. Starts off strong with Elevator Operator and Pedestrian At Best before falling off.
Track List
  1. Elevator Operator
  2. Pedestrian at Best
  3. An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in NY)
  4. Small Poppies
  5. Depreston
  6. Aqua Profunda!
  7. Dead Fox
  8. Nobody Really Cares if You Don't Go to the Party
  9. Debbie Downer
  10. Kim's Caravan
  11. Boxing Day Blues

Added on: January 29, 2015